" /> The Night Pavilion - Naomi Foyle

The Night Pavilion (Waterloo Press, 2008)

An Autumn 2008 Poetry Book Society Recommendation

Naomi Foyle’s debut collection impresses with its fictive range, wild linguistic amplitude and barbarically imagined poetics. In ballads, riddles, lyric masques and erotic vignettes, Foyle spikes sensuality with satire; music hall melodrama with Weimar perversity; and folkloric forays with scintillating humour. In particular the Russian-inspired poems announce a force and conviction rare in such re-readings, and she makes this territory wholly her own. Indeed, her ‘ Midnight versions’ of Akhmatova, and her own exuberant ‘Natasha’, form the core of this acutely original book.




A Pint, A Drop Or A Rope

The black comfort
of speaking well of the dead.

Like sipping Guinness,
or chewing liquorice,

half-smiling their names
brings a treacly glow

to the mouth.  Your mouth,
that pink hovel

with its one naked bulb
and damp mattress

where no-one
makes love anymore:

the laughter of the dead
foams like brown balloons,

comes to rest upon your lips,
the shadow of a kiss.

‘Naomi Foyle’s new collection emphasises vividly the performative voice and dramatises bodily and emotional experiences rarely so directly invoked in poetry. Truly original new work in verse and prose, as well as some adventurous, idiomatic translations, unsettle complacency and challenge expectations. Ostentatious, flirtatious, sometimes witty, technically ambitious and expansively sensuous, these poems push boundaries of form, genre and manner. At the same time they are highly approachable. Discerning readers will be delighted to discover a poet whose work is innovative but far from obscure, entertaining but never escapist.’ ~ Carol Rumens